Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 86

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The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)

Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.

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spring of 1755 he was a member of the company commanded by Capt. William PIERCE, that marched in Col. WHITCOMB's regiment against the French and Indians at Crown Point. He was in the bloody battle at Lake George, Sept. 8, 1755, where the gallant Dieskau, leading a large force of French and Indians, was signally defeated by the undisciplined valor of the New England yeomanry led by Gen. Phineas LYMAN. From Aug. 13 to 26, 1757, he was a member of the foot company commanded by Capt. Israel TAYLOR that marched on the late alarm for the relief of Fort William Henry, as far as Springfield. Sept. 26, 1774, the town approved of the choice of officers of the two military companies. Capt. Josiah WHITNEY commanded the youngest company. He was also captain of the company for a few years prior to the above date. Dec. 19, 1774, the Continental Resolves were read before the town and they were approved. A committee was appointed to prepare a covenant to be signed by the inhabitants, in which they further pledged their adherence to indepen- dency. Josiah WHITNEY was appointed one of a committee of ten to inspect breaches of the covenant. April, 1775, the Provincial Congress, convened at Watertown, deter- mined upon the establishment of an army of thirteen thousand men for the siege of Boston, expecting the other colonies to come to their assistance with twenty thou- sand more. Ten companies were to constitute a regiment as heretofore, but the complement was fixed at fifty-nine privates, two musicians, five corporals, four ser- geants, one ensign, a lieutenant, and captain. The term of enlistment was for eight months. Col. Asa WHITCOMB, of Lancaster, was authorized to raise a regiment, and was one of the first to report his command complete. May 25 he announced his staff, of which Josiah WHITNEY, of Harvard, was lieutenant-colonel. His regiment had eleven companies, containing five hundred and sixty volunteers. It was the largest of the twenty-six Massachusetts regiments before Boston. April 10, 1776, Capt. Josiah WHITNEY was appointed to take command of a battalion of men raised by the state. Oct. 29 he was in camp at Hull with his regiment, and in a communi- cation to the provincial council and house of representatives at Watertown, states, "though the pay of the state was small, yet my zeal for the liberties of my country was so great that I cheerfully undertook," etc. Upon the departure of the Continental army for New York, the Massachusetts militia was summoned to the defense of the coast. Two regiments were formed in April, 1776, for the defense of Boston harbor and stationed at Hull. For these the Continental organization was adopted which fixed the battalion complement at eight companies of ninety men each. It was one of these regiments that was commanded by Col. WHITNEY as stated above. In July, 1777, the Massachusetts Council of War, suddenly aware of New England's peril if the victorious progress of BURGOYNE was not stayed, hurriedly sent heavy reinforcements of militia to aid Gen. Benj. LINCOLN, who was then harass- ing the rear of the invading army. Col. Josiah WHITNEY, on July 27 ordered a draft of one-sixth of the training bands and alarm lists in his regiment to march at once to Bennington with six days rations, and on Aug. 2 ordered one-half of the militia to follow with eight days rations. Jan. 13, 1778, he was chairman of a committee which had been appointed by the town "to take into consideration the Articles of Confedera- tion and Perpetual Union of the United States of America Concerted on by Congress." The report urged the representative to use his best efforts to support our indepen- dency. In Aug. and Sept., 1778, a more determined attempt was made by the Conti- nental forces to wrest Rhode Island from the enemy, an attack by the combined forces of the French and Americans, on land and water, being agreed upon. Again a tempest disarranged well-laid plans by driving the French fleet to sea, and the battle of Quaker's Hill closed with honor an unsuccessful campaign. The Second Worcester Regiment of militia, with its commander, Col. Josiah WHITNEY, took part in the operations in Rhode Island. May 23, 1780, the state constitution was submitted to the freemen, and after being read, paragraph by paragraph, was referred to a com- mittee of fifteen to carefully consider and report upon. On June 1, the chairman of the committee, Joseph WHEELER, laid before the town the following proposed amendments: " 1. That the Delegate from this town be instrucied to use his endeavors that there may be a new convention within the term of fifteen years to consider what amendments may be needed in the constitution. 2ly. That the suspension of the habeus corpus act shall be confined to the time of war, invasion or rebellion and not to exceed the term of six months. 3ly. To give power to the Governour in the recess of the General Court to march or transport the Inhabitants of the State for the relief of a neighboring State invaded or threatened with invasion. Then voted this amendment be likewise made that the Governour Shall be of the Protestant, religion. Then voted to accept the whole of sd. Constitution with the above amend-

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